A Colorado bill granting adoption rights to same-sex couples and unmarried partners was pushed forward in a State House committee last week without a single witness testifying against it.

Republican legislatures in 2003 and 2004 killed similar bills, but with Democrats in charge, the bill is headed toward passage.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, one reason the opposition might not have been present is that Democratic leadership sprang the bill just three days before it came before the committee.

It was placed on the calendar of the House Health and Human Services Committee on last Thursday and passed by an 8-3 vote.

“More than half of children in the United States are in non-traditional homes, like a single mom or single parent or with a grandparent,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Alice Madden, the Democrat House majority leader.

“This bill would allow more Colorado children to have two parents,” she told Rocky Mountain News.

“Children don’t choose their parents, and society shouldn’t put up obstacles to two-parent homes.”

The Gazette reports that Jim Pfaff, president of Colorado Family Action, promised traditional-family advocates will try to fight the new legislation on the House floor.

He blamed a scheduling conflict and the Democrats’ “ramrodding” of the bill for his missing the committee hearing.

“All the high-minded discussion of ‘protecting children’ and ‘parental responsibility’ is merely a smokescreen for the true intent of this legislation: paving the way for homosexual adoption,” Pfaff was quoted as saying on the Focus on the Family Web site.

Colorado law allows married couples or single individuals to adopt a child.

Madden’s bill would extend that right to a specified second adult parent that could include a same-sex partner, an unmarried opposite-sex partner or a relative seeking to help a single mother.

“This provides some security that children need,” said Rep. Gwyn Green, a Denver Democrat and retired social worker to the Gazette.

“It’s a children’s bill above all else.”

The bill moves now to the House floor.

If it passes and gets Gov. Bill Ritter’s signature, Colorado would become the 25th state to allow adoptions by same-sex couples.

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